Jul 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 98.  I had planned to get up early this morning to do the evil task, but I must be more tired that I thought.  I found myself completely unable to move my butt, so I sat on it instead.  The evil task still awaits.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The apparent collapse of the veteran’s aid in conference committee seems to underline just how uninterested the House continues to be in actually governing. We’ve got Rep. Jeff Miller managing reconciliation from the House side, and he’s let his Senate counterpart, Sen. Bernie Sanders, know that the House will be dictating the reconciliation terms.

The most peeved, however, was Sanders. He hastily organized a press conference with fellow Senate Democrats in which he rapped Miller for demanding a vote on a proposal that, according to an aide, did not adhere to the outlines of earlier discussions.

“You cannot talk about negotiating, you cannot talk about a conference committee, when somebody is asking you to join you … for a formal vote on ‘this’ proposal,” said Sanders.

Well no, having an unofficial "conference committee" meeting consisting entirely of House members and then telling the Senate that their new plan is what you’ll be having a vote on is not quite how the process usually goes, but it certainly underscores the House’s insistence that it’s either their way or the (badly underfunded) highway.

Did anyone expect anything more than sabotage of our Vets from the Republican Reich? Click through for more.

From AlterNet: Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist who hosts the hit show "Cosmos," was a guest on Bill Maher’s "Real Time with Bill Maher" on HBO Friday night, and Tyson received standing ovation. Rare for a scientist, Maher joked.

Thinking by voters is forbidden in GOPerville.

From Crooks and Liars: The yappers over at Faux "news" are very upset that the Democrats have teachers knocking on doors for the midterm elections because they might not be able to paint them as the stereotypical union thug as they’re used to getting away with week after week on their network. How terrible it is that people might look at them as actual human beings and not someone to kick to the curb and actually listen to what they have to say.

Bulls & Bears host Brenda Butter started things off with regular John Layfield, who went right after the teachers for heaven forbid, exercising their right to participate in politics, pretended that this is somehow going to take away from them having time to do their jobs, and he laid all of the problems with our educational system on the backs of the teachers’ unions.

Barf Bag Alert!

 

I’ll leave it to the teachers among you to explain just how full of crap this propaganda for the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda is.

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Avril’s Dream :-)

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Jul 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 97, and I’m feeling almost human again, after sleeping almost all day yesterday.  Unfortunately the dreaded task awaits.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5:22).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

We have our own Fantasy football league on NFL.com called Lefty Blog Friends.  I just learned that one of the players withdrew without notifying me, so we have an opening.  You don’t have to be an expert to play, and it is a lot of fun.  It’s not just for men.  In fact four of our nine players are women.  If you’d like to play, please let me know ASAP.  Our live draft is on Saturday, Aug 16, 2014 at 9:00am PDT.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The war between Congress and the White House took a turn for the worse on Friday as House Republicans sought to prevent President Obama from ordering new office supplies.

The House panel that mandated the office-supply freeze denied that it was politically motivated, citing “budgetary concerns.” “It’s time President Obama learned a tough lesson,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters. “Being President does not entitle you to a spending spree at Staples.”

At the White House, the President blasted the Republicans’ move to strip him of legal pads, pencils, and other office essentials, calling it “just their latest attempt to keep me from doing my job.”

Is Andy covering up Obama’s Kenyan, Socialist, Muslim paper clips?

From Daily Kos: Take a look at what homegrown hatred looks like full stop. This disgusting comment was made by Barry Dile [Republican racist delinked] about a missing 16-year old girl from Tennessee.

0727Dyle

No doubt he is a devout follower of Republican Supply-side Jesus (the exact opposite of the real Jesus).

From Think Progress: During a congressional hearing Thursday, Foreign Policy reports, a member of Congress mistakeningly assumed that two senior U.S. government officials were actually representing India.

The Congressman, Rep. Curt Clawson, told the officials “I love your country” and offered to do “anything… to make the relationship with India better.” The officials, Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, are both U.S. citizens who work for the Obama administration. Here’s the super awkward exchange:

I found the same video in a format you all can view.

I guess this folks weren’t quite white enough for this Republican racist, but any competent Representative would know who is coming to a hearing in advance.  Republicans are not.

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Jul 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 96, and this is the only article.  Last night was election night for the group of prisoners I help.  I was pleased with their choices.  I could not help thinking that I wish Republican candidates had 10% of the integrity of those convicts.  After that I worked one on one with a few new guys.  I was happy that one in particular responded to questions by realizing how he could have intervened with better choices that would have prevented the entire situation, in which he felt he had no choice except to act.  One of the most valuable lessons learned is that today’s seemingly unimportant decisions constrain tomorrow’s available choices.  Today, I’m quite pooped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:49 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: If — like me — you’re a sucker for the very small human stories behind huge historical events, you’ll want to hear this from Lt. Dan Choi, who chained himself to the White House fence in 2010 and helped bring down "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" less than a year later. Make sure you check out 2:18 for his amazing love story, 6:30 for what happened when he came out to his parents, and 10:40 for the heartwarming, totally unexpected email he received from an Iraqi doctor. But really, you’ll want to watch the whole thing.

 

One need not be gay to be inspired by the honor, courage and commitment displayed by Dan Choi.

From The New Yorker: In his boldest move yet to address the immigration crisis, on Thursday Texas Governor Rick Perry dispatched the Dallas Cowboys to the United States’ border with Mexico.

In a photo opportunity with the Cowboys and several of the team’s cheerleaders, Perry explained the rationale behind his latest decision. “Those who would cross our borders illegally will have to contend with the power and fury of America’s Team,” he said.

As Andy goes on to explain, the Cowboys’ defense doesn’t stop anything, but there may be another way. If he has the cheerleaders invade Mexico, the men will want to stay there.

From Daily Kos: It is good to know that some in government are indeed still worried about privacy… too bad its not ours. And as people think it is a wise idea to send armed troops to ‘protect’ the Texas border we should probably be concerned that something like this happens on the U.S. Canada Border:

A central Iowa Boy Scout troop just returned from a three-week trip they will likely never forget.

Boy Scout Troop 111 Leader Jim Fox spelled out what happened to him and the Mid-Iowa Boy Scout Troop 111 as four van-loads of Scouts and adult volunteers tried to drive from Canada into Alaska.

Fox said one of the Scouts took a picture of a border official, which spurred agents to detain everyone in that van and search them and their belongings.

“The agent immediately confiscated his camera, informed him he would be arrested, fined possibly $10,000 and 10 years in prison,” Fox said.

Dang!! I thought Bloody Barbie had resigned! Click through to see how these Republicans threatened children with guns.

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Joanne asked for this.

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Jul 252014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 95, before leaving to do volunteer work in prison.  The plan is to go to bed, when I return tonight, and then do the puzzle and upload the articles whenever I wake up.  I’ll be meeting with around 100 prisoners.

Late (Early) Update:

Meeting was fantastic.  I’m frazzled.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:21 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Britain’s Prince George, who is celebrating his first birthday this week, is facing a rising chorus of criticism within the United Kingdom, with many calling the first year of his reign a major disappointment.

Alistair Strott, a journalist and one of George’s most outspoken critics, calls the Prince’s first year “long on hype and short on solid achievement.”

“Like a lot of us, I followed the royal birth last year with a great deal of excitement and anticipation,” says Strott. “But one year in, we all have to look at each other and say, ‘That’s it?’ ”

While defenders of Prince George cite a packed schedule of events during his first year, Strott is unimpressed. “Yes, he’s been on TV and magazine covers,” he says. “So have the Kardashians.”

I trust Andy realizes that, on this side of the pond, the media have had little trouble assigning blame: it’s Obama’s fault.

From Daily Kos: In a new ad similar in style to her previous ad on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare budget, Kentucky Secretary of State and Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Alison Lundergan Grimes is taking aim at McConnell’s statement earlier this year that creating jobs isn’t one of his jobs.

 

Bough Bitch Mitch’s job is to squeeze quarters so tight between his butt cheeks, that it kills the eagles.

From NY Times: The rush to purchase Piketty’s book suggested that Americans must have wanted to understand inequality. The apparent rush to put it down suggests that, well, we’re human.

So let me satisfy this demand with my own “Idiot’s Guide to Inequality.” Here are five points:

First, economic inequality has worsened significantly in the United States and some other countries. The richest 1 percent in the United States now own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent. Oxfam estimates that the richest 85 people in the world own half of all wealth.

The situation might be tolerable if a rising tide were lifting all boats. But it’s lifting mostly the yachts. In 2010, 93 percent of the additional income created in America went to the top 1 percent.

This is worth the read. Click through for the other four points.

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Jul 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 94.  Yesterdays CoDA meeting in prison went very well.  I cleaned house this morning and an now waiting fore Store to Door to driver groceries.  Then I’m going to rest, because I have another volunteer day in prison tomorrow.  This is the general meeting with around 100 of my guys.  So this is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The BBC reports:

Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says.

The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

The US said last week it would unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return for Iran’s compliance.

A four-month extension to talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions was agreed on Friday between Iran and world powers.

This is a big deal.  A major foreign policy success.  Iran is ending its nuclear program.  All without a shot being fired.

The author goes on to say that because we didn’t bomb anyone, the media didn’t considerate it worth reporting. Is that sick or what?

From The New Yorker: An aide to Rick Perry is confident that the Texas Governor proved he “has what it takes to be President” with his decision on Monday to send troops somewhere for no reason.

By deploying a thousand National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, Perry has shown that as President he would be “ready and willing” to use troops without a defined objective, mission, or exit strategy, the aide confirmed.

“Sending troops someplace with no clear idea of why they are going or what they are supposed to be doing once they get there is a key part of the Presidential skill set,” said the aide, Harland Dorrinson. “Rick Perry has just shown that he’s got that nailed down.”

Did Andy hide some satire in there?

From Huffington Post: An Arizona inmate gasped and snorted in an execution that lasted nearly two hours on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Joseph Wood had filed an emergency motion to abort the execution because their client was still alive more than an hour after receiving a lethal injection that was intended to kill him quickly and peacefully.

Their motion, filed in federal district court, failed to save Wood. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced that the 55-year-old convicted killer was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

Court papers said the execution started 117 minutes earlier.

"He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour," Wood’s lawyers wrote in their hurried attempt to call off the execution and force Arizona to provide Wood with life-saving care. "He is still alive."

A journalist from the Arizona Republic who witnessed the execution said Wood gasped for air 660 times after the drugs were introduced through intravenous tubes.

If strapping down a human being and torturing him for two hours is not cruel and unusual punishment, what is?

No doubt the Arizona Death Angel, Jan Brewer, is partying tonight.

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Jul 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 93.  I have not left for prison yet.  The plan is to crawl into bed, when I return home, and do the puzzle and upload the articles when I wake up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Late (early) Update:

The meeting was great and I now have my ID.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:18).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Guess who Sen. John McCain blames for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17? Yup, President Obama:

 

McConJob, in typical Republican fashion, has a special tool with which to hit every nail: a bomb.

From TPM: A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning

the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves.

A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law.

"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell.

His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies.

This may well be huge. Without doubt this decision will be appealed to the full DC Circuit court, and from there to the Supreme Court where the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) await. This may well mean that Republicans in red states mazy be able to prevent their citizens from receiving their federal subsidy. This should be overturned, but we need to watch this one closely.

From Think Progress: Conventional political wisdom holds that a carbon tax could never pass Congress, largely thanks to the “tax” part.

But over the last few years, a remarkable number of economists, politicians, and business leaders have stepped up to support a carbon tax as the most job-friendly way to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Now thanks to a new poll, we can confidently add “majorities of American voters” to that list of supporters as well. A July survey run out of the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College found that when certain uses are specified for the revenue — specifically investment in renewable energy or rebate checks back to taxpayers — 56 to 60 percent of voters support a carbon tax.

I’ve favored a carbon tax for years.  This would be great news if what the American peopled want had even the slightest effect on Republican legislators. It doesn't.

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